They said it couldn’t be done, but a black-and-white film without recorded dialogue (except for a few lines) swept the 2011 84th Academy Awards, when it walked off with five statuettes, including the top prize for Best Picture.
It was the first a French movie to win Best Picture, and it marked another first for Jean Dujardin, who was the first Frenchman to win Best Actor.
The film also earned additional buzz, as its dog star Uggie, won the first annual Golden Collar Award for Best Dog in a Theatrical Film, making him the “top dog” in Hollywood. The Jack Russell Terrier has since then retired from movie making (his brother, Jack, has taken over), adhering the adage that it’s best to go out when you’re on top.
The movie in question is The Artist, and it’s finally available on home video today.
The story of the coming of sound in the late 1920s, The Artist focuses on actor George Valentin (Dujardin), as he dismisses the coming technology as a “fad,” and ends up paying heavily for his short-sightedness. Staying loyal to him every step of the way is his dog Jack (Uggie), who lives up to the animal’s title of “man’s best friend.”